Caves

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

(Last Updated On: September 18, 2018)

Lewis and Clark Caverns is a state park in Montana. It features a large camping area with tent sites, RV areas, and cabins as well as a beautiful natural cave. We spent one night in a cabin, completed the Junior Ranger Program, and took the cave tour.

 

The cabins at Lewis and Clark are simple, but comfortable. They have no running water though there is a bathroom with pay-showers nearby. There was electricity in the cabin along with a bunkbed, queen bed, and table and chairs. It was comfortable camping with no sleeping on the ground, but we did need to bring your own bed linens. No wifi was available in the camping area.

Inside our cabin in Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.

The highlight of Lewis and Clark Caverns is obviously the cave. The tour is unique in that it requires stooping and even sliding in some places. We’ve never been in a guided cave that was quite as adventurous as this one. Also, there are a lot of stairs, which can get slippery in the cave. For this reason, it may not be a great adventure for the very old or very young.

Lots of ups and downs in this cave.

There is a half mile hike to the cave. It is a bit steep, but the worst part is the lack of shade. We went on the first tour of the day in July, and it was still plenty hot. It doesn’t help that you need to carry a jacket because the cave is quite cool inside.

There are a few signs and a few covered benches along the trail over to Lewis and Clark Caverns.

The trail is steep and hot in the summer.

Here is the warning sign.

Our favorite thing about Lewis and Clark Caverns was seeing the bats. They are clustered just inside the entrance. They hang in small groups on the ceiling, so please be quiet in this area of the cave.

The entrance that we enter is quite a bit larger than the natural entrance.

This is the natural entrance. Aaaah! There is a huge drop below it.

We really enjoyed seeing the bats. You could get a great look at them all clustered together and sleeping.

The hike through the cave is very refreshing after the hot walk to the cave. There are many steps and a lot of ducking involved, so watch your head. We always wear hats in caves so if we do bump our heads, at least the rock doesn’t cut the skin. This cave has all of the features of a cave that you are looking for like cave bacon, shields, cave popcorn, stalagmites and staglatites, so it is a fun cave to explore.

The walk through this cave is amazing.

There are some big beautiful rooms.

This is a reflecting pool inside the cave.

On one of the steps, it is marked that the elevation is one mile high!

At one point there is a narrow slide in the cave. Though you can duck-walk down this section, it is much more fun to sit down and slide, even though the slide is slightly damp. If you’re at the end of the line, it won’t be wet anymore, so you may want to hang back.

This is the slide. You sit down and scooch through that narrow area. This is not for the claustrophobic!

There are some beautiful shields in Lewis and Clark Caverns.

We loved Lewis and Clark Caverns and will return to the cave next time we are in this section of Montana. To check out other great caving opportunities, click here.

There is a half mile hike back to the parking lot, but it is complete level and flat.

Directions

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is located at 25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd.
Whitehall, Montana
Latitude/Longitude: (45.82289 / -111.85082)

Cave Tour Information

Cave Tours are offered May 1 to September 30. Tickets are only available for same day purchase on a first come, first served basis. There is a small visitor center down by the camping area and it is open year round. For more specific hours, visit the state parks website.